How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Dothan AL
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Dothan AL is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Dothan AL labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Dothan AL hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Dothan AL employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Dothan AL students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Dothan AL in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Dothan AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Dothan AL clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Dothan AL health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Dothan AL health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dothan AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Dothan Alabama
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Dothan AL.